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A standing katsina figure with a tableta painted in black, white and orange | Donald Ellis Gallery

Poli Mana Katsina


late 19th century

cottonwood, paint

height: 21 ½"

Inventory # S4003



The Robert Brady Museum Foundation, Cuernavaca, Mexico

Related Examples

La Danse Kachina: Poupees Hopi et Zuni dans les Collections Surrealistes et Alentour. Paris: Les Musees de la Ville de Paris, 1998, pls. 77 and 78

The presentation of Poli Mana, or Butterfly Maiden, depends on the social occasion during which they perform and varies from one mesa to the other. When impersonated by a man, Poli Mana can accompany katsina performances and is closely related to Salako Mana. However, butterfly dances are also staged by women’s societies outside of the ceremonial cycle, in which case Poli Mana appears unmasked. In either case, the katsina’s most prominent feature remains a towering tableta. Poli Mana probably originates from tableta dances performed on the Rio Grande.

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